“Echo Viol” Patent Model

Description (Brief)
This “Echo Viol” was patented by Michael H. Collins of Chelsea, Massachusetts and received U.S. Patent number 129,653 on July 23, 1872. Intended as an improvement on the violin, the body consists of two chambers or sounding areas which can be balanced. Collins describes this improvement in his patent application: “This harmonizing or tuning of the two chambers, so as to attain a most perfect clearness and blending of the reverberations or echos emitted from the two chambers, is one of the peculiar features of my invention.” This instrument is made of a body of thin hardwood and spruce, laminated in place with cloth for light weight strength, bridge of laminated wood, finely figured violin neck, pegbox and scroll, and reddish-orange varnish on the neck.
Currently not on view
Object Name
patent model
echo viol
date made
Collins, Michael H.
Physical Description
hardwood (body material)
spruce (body material)
plywood (bridge material)
overall: 25 in x 4 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in; 63.5 cm x 12.065 cm x 13.335 cm
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Chelsea
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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